Poor Man's Prime Rib?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by redclaymud, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. I would love to do a full boneless prime rib eye but the budget just doesn't allow for it.  I've got a big family gathering coming up in June.  I'm wondering about Prime Rib alternatives.  Something that looks like prime rib, quacks like prime rib, but doesn't cost as much as prime rib.  We would need to serve it approximately 1/2" sliced and possibly char the slices on the grill.  Of course, the family wants something special that the grand cousins will be talking about for years.

    A few boneless Chuck Eye Roasts comes to mind.  Any thoughts? 
    • Should the roasts be binded together with twine and skewers during smoking?  Any advantage to trying to smoke them as one roast?  
    • Would it be better to have the butcher pre-slice the individual roasts into steaks and bind that into a roast during smoking?  Any advantage to that?
    • Is Marinade enough or should I consider injections?
    Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    How many people you feeding? Does it have to be Beef? We eat a lot of Chuck Steaks here because they are Cheap and my Wife grew up eating them, but they are all over the scale on tenderness. Sometime great, some times only those with the strongest jaws get full. I have found Top Sirloin makes pretty good Roast Beef for a crowd. And a well prepared Packer Brisket is always a winner. Pig Roasts are show stoppers. Any thing on a Spit will impress. Make it about the Show and the Party and they will never miss the Rib Eye!

    I had a Carved Steamship Round, Ham and Turkey Buffet in a VFW for my Wedding, with plenty of Booze and a great DJ...My Brother spent more than Double for a sitdown Prime Rib dinner in a Fancy Restaurant...Guess who's wedding the family is still talking about 25 years later!?!...Good luck!...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  3. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Like JJ said... Sirloin tip roast or a packer came to my mind....... I would go with the full packer if you want something tender......

  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Can you get a TriTip? If so they stand up pretty well against any cut of meat
  5. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  6. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do you have any wholesale meat friends?  Or an independent butcher that can order?  A few things:

    Like Chef Jimmy J said, whole top sirloin butts are good (this is the sirloin steak, not the sirloin tip steak).

    Also, whole chuck eye rolls are good too... kissin' cousin to whole rib eyes and cheaper (it is a continuation of the same muscle group from the chuck, right next to the rib)

    And, as Chef Jimmy J suggests, a whole steamship round is good also.

    And, you can see if your butcher friend can order select or no roll ribs, not choice, too; a little leaner, less waste, lower price.  Get a box of them (usually 2 or 3 in a box) and we can show you how to bone them out!  (and have beef rib dino bones for your later enjoyment, lol!)
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great Idea Pops!!! I didn't think of Select and No Roll...I had gotten No Roll 109E's out of Canada about 15 years ago that were Butter tender and saved over $3 a pound!...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  8. Thanks everyone.  I'm getting my mind set on things.  It's a family reunion that encompasses three different bbq teams, so I don't want to do something that might be compared to competition.  That means brisket and pork butt are not an option.  A full chuck roast is not out of line.  My meat market doesn't carry them but they can special order one.

    I'll be feeding about 40 for the initial dinner and don't know what else.  Hopefully, not a lot, but I would rather dine in than dine out three times a day.
  9. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    See if you can order a no roll eye of chuck roll.  No, not messin' with you, lol... a "no roll" means it is graded better than select, so it has marbling, but not as good as choice.  If it were graded choice the inspector would have used his "USDA CHOICE" roll stamp on the carcass indicating choice, and rolled it several times on the carcass so every primal was marked with the USDA CHOICE symbol; it is a rolling stamp that they roll in purple food coloring ink first, then roll it on the carcass.  If it doesn't meet choice specifications, then it's called "no roll" choice, or a lower grade is USDA SELECT and if it isn't quite to Select standards then it's no roll Select.  The chuck eye is the tenderest part of the chuck, the same part in the chuck as is the rib eye next to it:

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  10. Good to know!
    Chuck eye has become our go-to steak here, affordable and good.

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